QLD considers mine camps to quarantine travellers

Overseas travellers returning to Queensland may be made to quarantine in mining camps.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is mulling over quarantining overseas travellers returning to the state at mining camps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the state.

The state today announced three new cases of COVID-19, two of which were caught overseas and detected in hotel quarantine. None were acquired locally.

“(For) quarantine into the future… we are going to look at all options,” Palaszczuk said on Thursday.

“One of those options is to look at some of the mining camps we have in Queensland. Some of these mining camps are four-star, they are of a very good, quality, high standard.

“Most of the ones we’re looking at have balconies, so there’s a lot of fresh air for guests and also there’s the capacity for all staff and cleaners to also be based on those sites as well.

“I’m going to put this forward as an option to the federal government and look forward to having those discussions.”

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is working with the state government and chief health officer Jeannette Young to provide feedback on the suggestion.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane recognised the efforts of its coal, metal and gas members working tirelessly and successfully to protect industry workers, their families and mining communities from COVID-19 during the past 11 months.

Macfarlane said the QRC would work provide input into any decisions that impact on mining workforces and communities, but added the decision to use isolated mining camps for quarantining travellers will be made by the Premier and chief health officer.

“Keeping our workers and the Queensland community safe, particularly in regional areas will continue to be our priority,” he said.

“Our diligence has meant the resources sector has been able to continue to operate and earn for Queensland. The resources industry will cooperate and assist where requested.”

The premier and her cabinet will discuss the proposal with the federal government at national cabinet next Friday, as the state faces a potential outbreak of the highly contagious United Kingdom strain in hotel quarantine.

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